Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said he wasn't going to get into talking about specific contract language when asked if Bumgarner is allowed to compete in rodeo events under the terms of his new contract.
Bumgarner won $26,560 during a team rodeo event in December in Wickenburg, Ariz., about two weeks before signing a five-year, $85 million contract with the Diamondbacks.
Again, this is 100 percent real.
According to The Athletic's interview with Bumgarner, the former San Francisco Giants southpaw has been competing as Saunders with different partners as far back as March of past year, and possibly longer.
Well, apparently Madison Bumgarner is in Some antics.
The delightful revelation was reported Sunday by The Athletic, in the rare instance of investigative reporting unearthing evidence that the world is secretly better than we knew. It just won't be the same for Bumgarner anymore.
Why the alias then?
Nobody knew about Bumgarner's second professional sport because Bumgarner went under his alias "Mason Saunders". A shortened version of his first name and his wife's maiden name as the surname.
Bumgarner - a right-handed roper - said he's often recognized at rodeo events, but he's maintained the alias to keep his profile low.
The Athletic reports that Bumgarner has been competing at rodeos under an alias.
The North Carolina native has been roping since he was 15 or 16 years old and said he's been at it so long that 'it's just part of who you are'.
You'd imagine the D-Backs did not let Bumgarner include a provision that gives him free rein to compete in rodeo events, especially given a past incident of his career.
Previously, when Bumgarner was with the Giants, he missed three months of the 2017 season after suffering a shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, at the time calling it "definitely not the most responsible decision" he had made.
Lovullo acknowledged that even though he wants Bumgarner to be safe, his star pitcher's side hustle was interesting.
However, let's face it. If you willfully employ Madison Bumgarner, you're going to have to accept that he occasionally enter rodeos in secret. Everyone in baseball should know this.